Reuters report: Army denies involvement in illegal abortions before investigative panel

THE Nigerian Army has refuted allegations that it forcefully aborted about 10,000 pregnancies in the North-East.

A report by Reuters had accused the Nigerian Army of engaging in the forced abortions and other human rights abuses as part of its campaign against the Boko Haram terror group.

The Army has denied the allegations before an investigative panel.

Testifying before the investigative panel, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Farouk Yahaya described the Reuters report as an attack aimed at undermining the military’s success in fighting terrorism.

“Some people are gifted in writing just like in novels, describing what they never witnessed forgetting that in the military, if you waste any ammunition, you will be court-martialled. We are not a mercenary Army, we are a professional Army.

“We are succeeding and not many are happy that we are succeeding, they cannot reverse our successes therefore they rubbish it,” he said.

Yahaya accused the media organisation of reporting falsehoods rather than documenting the efforts of the Army in fighting terrorism. He added that the Army respects human life in it’s operations.

He also denied allegations that children sired by Book Haram members were massacred by the military.

“This is laughable because even if there is stigma attached to such children, is it the Army that will stop the stigma?” he asked.




     

     

    Reuters had indicted the Nigerian Army for running a secret program that has ended at least 10,000 pregnancies without the consent of the women involved who had been kidnapped, raped or forcefully married to terrorists in the North-East.

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    The report published in December 2022 claimed that the victims, some of who were as young as twelve years old, were deceived into taking injections that ended their pregnancies under false assurance that it was medication to restore health.

    Reuters alleged that the scheme was aimed at ridding society of terrorists’ descendants and had been running secretly since 2013.

    The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) Lucky Irabor had earlier denied the claims made in the report, describing them as nonsense and untrue.

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    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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